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YESTERDAY, TO-DAY, AND
Under this general heading appear miscellaneous notes and records of current events and other topics relating to child welfare, and to this section it is earnestly hoped readers of this Journal will contribute.
1918.. THE NEW YEAR finds us still engaged in the most stupendous of struggles. The issues of the War are still undecided. In this critical conflict all that we have and are must be devoted to the great cause of righteousness. But amidst all the demands for man-power, munitions, financial resources and the other elements that are essential if victory is to be ours, the paramount importance of developing the potential child-power of the Commonwealth must ever be prominently borne in mind. The care of the child must here and now be given first consideration. Child welfare work is truly war work beside which there is none greater. The whole future of the nation depends on the quality of the children that are being born and bred in these epoch-making years of relentless warfare. All measures making for child betterment must be energized by all the resources of the soul. The first and foremost duty of all should be to to secure the adoption of the essential elements in Mr. Fisher's great Education Bill. Next there must be granted a new Ministry of Health which shall be a brain centre for the co-ordination of the fourteen State departments now struggling with various aspects of National Health Questions. Earnest endeavours must be made to raise standards in regard to all forms of work *ouching child interests. There is increasing need for the „Systematic training of all who undertake the care of children. Children's homes and orphanages, industrial schools, reformatories, and every form of institution seeking to care for all sorts and conditions of necessitous children, will have to give heed to their ways, and readjust and reconstruct so that higher standards of service are secured. THE CHILD during the coming year will continue to maintain its position as an independent organ,
the friend of all and the enemy of none, seeking to secure the co-ordination of all work and the co-operation of every worker in the great cause of child betterment. These are days of unexampled difficulty for editors and publishers, and we rely on our subscribers to continue their sympathy and practical support. The conditions of war have added greatly to the perplexities of maintaining such a monthly journal as THE CHILD. The cost of production is exceedingly heavy. We have been compelled to diminish the size of the journal somewhat, and we regret that we have been obliged to curtail our “exchange” and "free" lists. Moreover, we are not permitted to distribute specimen copies as formerly: It is very desirable, therefore, that all supporters of THE CHILD should individually do their utmost not only to maintain its circulation, but to extend its sphere of influence. . Subscribers who do not require to retain their copies for binding or other purposes would be greatly increasing the service of the journal if they would present their copies to their local reference libraries or could circulate them among parents, doctors, nurses, teachers and others engaged in the care and education of children and the training of adolescents. We shall continue to rely on the loyalty and practical help of our subscribers, and shall do our utmost to justify their long continued sympathy and support.
Suggestions for the improvement of the journal are always welcome, and in so far as they are practicable such suggestions shall be acted on. And so amidst all the tumult of this world-wide war, with its bitter sorrow's and countless sufferings and a deathless glory of innumerable services and sacrifices, there must be placed as our motto for 1918 “ The child in the midst.” To all our readers we offer sincere wishes for true happiness and lasting prosperity in their thought and work for the Service of Childhood,
WAR AND VITAL STATISTICS.
Sir Bernard Mallet, K.C.B., our Registrar-General at Somerset House, in his recent Presidential Address to the Royal Statistical Society presented a series of figures which have bearings of the greatest interest and value as indicating in some measure the effects of war on some of the conditions and events governing our national vital statistics. The whole address merits the most serious study. It appears in the current issue of the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Vol. lxxxi, Part 1, January, 1918. The number of marriages have risen steadily from 260,544 in 1909 to 286,583 in 1913, and has continued in the first two quarters of 1914, which were affected by the War. During the second, third and fourth quarters of 1915 and the first quarter of 1916 a sudden and pheno• menal rise occurred when war marriages swelled the totals until they reached record heights. During the second quarter of 1916 the boom in marriages continued but with greatly diminished force, and by the third quarter the numbers had fallen to well below the average. The War has resulted in 200,000 people being married between August 1914, and June, 1917, who in the ordinary course of events would not have been married. The marriage rate for 1915 in England and Wales was much the highest recorded since civil registration of marriages was enforced, the previous maximum, 17.9 per 1,000 living in 1853, while the minimum was 14'2 in 1886.
In Scotland the rate for 1915, although the highest for over forty years, failed to reach the record of 1873, when the rate was 15:5. In Ireland the 1915 rate of ili is the highest recorded, the previous maximum being il'o in 1865, while the minimum 7.8 was reached in 1880. Sir Bernard Mallet estimates that taking an average of marriages in Hungary the effect of the War has been that over 600,000 persons who in the ordinary course would have married have not done
It would appear that in Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, Hesse, Hamburg, and Bremen, six states containing more than 80 per cent. of the German population, the total number of marriages in 1913 was 434,103, and in 1914 392,053, a decrease of 41,050, or nearly 10 per cent.,
in spite of a great outburst of war marriages, especially in Prussia, Hesse and Bremen, during the first month of the War. Among the effects produced by the War on vital conditions the loss of potential lives to the belligerent countries by the decrease in the numbers of children born is perhaps the most important. In pre-war days, both in actual numbers and in rates there was a steady decrease in births. In England and Wales in the triennium 1911-13 this amounted to 4:2 per cent., as compared with 1908-10 in numbers and 6:3 per cent. in rate. In Scotland the decrease in numbers was 4'9 per cent., and in rate 5-6 per cent. ; in Ireland 1'3 in numbers and 1'2 in rate. In Germany, where the decrease has been much more rapid of late years, the decline was 5 per cent. in numbers and 9 per cent. in rate; in Hungary, l'1 in numbers and 3.5 in rate. It would seem that the United Kingdom has lost by the fall in births over 500,000 potential lives, approximately 10,000 per million of the population. Germany in the same period has probably lost about 2,600,000, approximately 40,000 per million. Hungary has perhaps lost 1,500,000, approximately 70,000 per million. But for the War the number of children born in the United Kingdom from May, 1915, to June, 1918, should have been 3,500,000, while the number actually born is estimated as about 2,950,000; in Germany the numbers born should have been 5,850,000, and will be only about 3,250,000; while in Hungary there should have been 2,600,000 and there will be only 1,100,000.
In the United Kingdom this is equivalent to the loss of over six months' normal births, in Germany to a loss of seventeen months' births, in Hungary of twenty-four months'. With regard to illegitimate births the
are remarkable. Sir Bernard Mallet's own words may well be reproduced here : “ There was every reason to expect a serious increase of illegitimate births from the general relaxation of morality which has always accompanied war, and from conditions such as the sudden freedom from home restraints of exceptionally large numbers of young people of both sexes, the prevalence in the earlier stages of billeting of soldiers on the population, the employment of increasing numbers of young women in
munitions and other factories, and the State recognition in the matter of separation and other military allowances of the status of unmarried wives.' It is, of course, a question how far in view of the prevalence of artificial restriction of births, illegitimacy is a test of sexual morality, and in mitigation of the abovementioned factors there may be pleaded the increased number of marriages and the absence of so large a proportion of men on foreign service, but it is certainly noteworthy that in spite of apparent evidence of conditions leading to immorality, the War has so far produced almost no effect upon our figures of illegitimate births. During the latter third of the nineteenth century the number was gradually declining notwithstanding increase of population and of legitimate births. It has remained practically stationary during the present century; only two previous years in our tables show so small a number of illegitimate births as the year 1915, and although 1916 gives an increase of 1,444 over the previous year, its record is lower than the number recorded in 1913.” With regard to the sex constitution of the population of the British Isles the numbers are interesting. At the census of 191 there were 1,068 females to 1,000 males in England and Wales; in Scotland the proportions were 1,062 to 1,000; and in Ireland the sexes nearly balanced, being 1,003 females to 1,000 men. At the end of three years of war the population of the United Kingdom appears to be sensibly greater than it was at the beginning, The whole of Sir Bernard Mallet's illuminating address deserves detailed study. It is a contribution to national statistics of the greatest value. We advise our readers to peruse the address in its entirety.
of child life and stay the dire influences working for the degradation of the moral and intellectual health of youth. And now the State is alive to the importance of the problem of child preservation. It is clear that in this great work there must be loyal co-operation between voluntary bodies and State departments. If advance along sure lines is to be secured there must be co-ordination of all forms of work and co-operation among all classes of workers. It is interesting to note that in these latter days it is becoming the custom for the State to mandeer the services of those who as private students and voluntary workers have proved themselves capable servants of the Commonwealth. A striking example is afforded in the life of the late Charles E. B. Russell, for nearly three years H.M. Chief Inspector in the Reformatory and Industrial Schools Depart. ment of the Home Office. A memorial sketch of Russell has recently been issued and may, we trust, be speedily expanded into a more elaborate biography of this true pioneer. A Russell Memorial Fund is being raised in the interests of Heyrod Street Lads' Club, Ancoats, Manchester, the centre where Russell spent some of the most active years of his life and gained much of the experience which fitted him to meet the heavy demands made on him at the Home Office. Through the courtesy of the Treasurer of the club, Mr. Frank A. Haworth, we are permitted to reproduce the striking portrait of Russell, which appears as a frontispiece. Every worker for boy betterment should read this sympathetic and stirring sketch of a great friend and devoted servant of necessitous boys. Russell was a true leader. a quick and sure organizer, a sound administrator, and exercised a magnetic influence on all with whom he came into contact. But while possessing natural ability and innate powers for winning and holding the respect and affection of boys, he devoted all his powers to a patient study of the boy in all his varied moods and endless manifestations. Russell had vision and could readily see and understand problems from the boy's standpoint. The memorial booklet provides a delightful picture of the work of this Greatheart in the slums of Manchester and elsewhere. It is an inspiring record
A PIONEER OF CHILD
BETTERMENT. There is now a science as well as an art of child welfare. The best thought and the most faithful service is being dedicated to the cause of child betterment. War has aroused all to a realization of the paramount need for the protection of our coming citizens. For long private enterprises and voluntary efforts have sought to arrest the appalling waste
of unselfish, wisely directed service which we earnestly commend to the notice of all who ase labouring for the improvement of boy life. Russell was a strong man, firm in his religious anchorage, broad in his sympathies, quick in reasoning and in forming resolution, and energized by a soul that was ever seeking new channels whereby his own faith and hope and virility might be placed at the service of his needy brethren. This is not the place to refer to Russell's fine work at the Home Office. We sincerely trust that a life of this brave pioneer will be written. The memory of such a man deserves to live, and while the work which he has so firmly established serves as his truest memorial, the record of his self-sacrificing, happy, industrious and constructive life will bring renewal of strength and quickening of ideals to many who were privileged to know and labour with this well-beloved servant of the State. The Home Office lost a great servant in Russell, and his passing has been followed by the loss of another wise administrator who has accomplished valuable service for child life. Mr. George Atherton Aitken, C.B., M.V.O., Assistant Secretary at the Home Office, has recently died after only a few days illness. Aitken was appointed to act as Secretary to the Reformatory and Industrial Schools Committee. In 1908 he rendered much practical aid in connection with the preparation of Mr. Herbert Samuel's Children Act. In 1913 he attended at Brussels as the delegate of the British Government at the International Congress on the Protection of Child Life, and in the same year he took over the charge of the department of the Home Office which deals with all matters connected with the wel. fare of children. Mr. Aitken, as Assistant Secretary, was responsible for the Home Office work connected with reformatory and industrial schools, Children's Courts, the administration of the Probation of Offenders Act, the Employment of Children Act and the like. He was also Chairman of the Juvenile Organizations Committee, a body containing representatives of the leading societies dealing with child welfare work, and the function of which is to co-ordinate the aims and endeavours of these organizations and to secure for them official help and encour
agement. Mr. Aitken was a highly gifted man, one of the first authorities on the Queen Anne period in English literature, and he possessed a very deep interest in all making for the furtherance of the well-being of children. But although experienced workers in the great cause of child welfare pass, fresh leaders are ready to carry on the work. We are glad to be able to announce that the Home Secretary has appointed Dr. Arthur Herbert Vorris to fill the important post of Chief Inspector of Reformatory and Industrial Schools, left vacant by the death of Mr. C. E. B. Russell. Dr. Norris has further been appointed to act as Chairman of the Juvenile Organizations Committee, in place of the late Mr. G. A. Aitken. So better appointment could be possible. Dr. Norris was associated with Mr. Russell in his work among boy's in Manchester, and has shown hiinself to be not only a capable organizer and judicious administrator, but an understanding friend of children and a tactful and sympathetic leader of men. Shortly after the outbreak of war Dr. Norris took up military duties in the Royal Army Medical Corps, and served with great distinction in Gallipoli, Egypt and France, and in November, 1916, was awarded the Military Cross. All workers for child betterment will rejoice that the mantle of Russell has fallen on the shoulders of a worthy successor. lle join with colleagues and many friends in wishing for Dr. Norris a long, happy, and successful career in the responsible national work which now devolves upon him.
THE CHILDREN'S LIBRARY. “ The reading done by children, which is important from both a cultural and a practical standpoint, and which should make them reading men and women, usually fails to acquaint them with books
sources of help and information in their hobbies and other interests. Nor does it develop in them a discriminating taste, because reading a merely mechanical art is difficult for young children. Serious reading habits are acquired only after long and patient practice and by some not at all. Many educational authorities contend, therefore, that school children should do most of their reading